Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I'm sorry, but I'm pissed.

Ever have this happen, someone you used to talk to every day just suddenly doesn't talk to you anymore? A friend of mine (let's call her Maddie) hadn't spoken ten words to me since Christmas, and I had no idea why. I didn't think I'd done anything to upset her. I knew I didn't do anything on purpose, and she's really the sort that I'd have thought would at least call me up and give me an earful if I pissed her off.

But I never got that from her.

Maybe it's nothing, I thought. She's probably just really busy with school and work and everything. It's nothing personal.

But apparently, I was SUPPOSED to take her not speaking to me personally.

I tried at least 4 times to reach out to her, both via phone and email. I even had R call and tell her that I missed talking to her and asking if I'd done something to upset her. She was short and abrupt in the times she did reply, and, as I said, had not initiated contact with me at all since before Christmas.

I had no idea what's going on and I was really sad. And worried. This wasn't like her.

The only thing I could think of was that my sister's guests booked rooms at the hotel chain that my friend works for (she got everyone a pretty decent deal on the rooms, which at the time she said she was happy to do)and maybe somebody bitched about something and it somehow got back to her, but nobody in my family did anything like that. The last time I talked to her was around the time of my sister's wedding.

** Just to give you an idea, HERE's a brief overview of what I was going through at that time. I had TONS of family coming in, a Flower Girl's dress to locate, decorations, drama drama DRAMA - plus my kids were out of school so all the work I did had to be around their schedule.

A few weeks before the wedding, my sister's FIL actually emailed Maddie's boss (TOTALLY went over her head) to complain that some of their guests had the room rate misquoted to them, which wouldn't have been Maddie's fault anyway, but she emailed me like "WTF is up with that dude?!!?" She was understandably really pissed that he did that - and my family was horrified, but she knew it wasn't my fault since I don't even really know the guy at all, and so I said something to my sister about it, and my sister apologized to me, and I apologized to Maddie, and everything calmed down. See, she'd totally call me if she was pissed, I still think she would.

I didn't think anything bad was going on in her relationship, but I really didn't know and that's what was bothering me more than anything. She and I used to work together and we're the only ones that either of us keeps in touch with from our old job, so we kinda have mutual friends but I couldn't imagine that she would be talking to any of them and not me. I'm positive I didn't do anything snarky like talk shit about her behind her back and then have something I said got back to her, nuthin like that. I really don't know.

At one point, I even wondered if it would it be really bad form if I were to call her boyfriend where he works and just ask if she's ok. I know him, so it wouldn't be out of the blue like I was a stranger. Of course, if something bad is going on at home, I don't want to fuel anything. But the not-knowing part was bummin me out.

So, yesterday I emailed her, asking "Hey, you're going to be done with Massage Therapy school pretty soon, aren't you? Are you excited? When do you graduate?" And her reply was -

"3 weeks."

Ok, I'm a conversationalist (could ya guess?), and so is she, and that's why we got along so well. That reply was really, really out of character.

This is the email I sent her next.

"I'm sad and I miss you. It kinda bums me out that I don't hear from you anymore. If I did something or said something that upset you, you'd tell me, wouldn't you? Cuz if I did, I am totally unaware of what it might have been. If you're really busy, that's cool and I don't want to bug you, I just wanted to make sure you weren't angry."

So here's what she said -

"I know you were really stressed out about the wedding but it really hurt my feelings the way the you and your mom spoke to me. "

You gotta be fucking kidding me.

This happened in DECEMBER. I've tried to talk to her since then, and R did too, and she and I have actually spoken maybe two sentences to each other, but this is the FIRST time she's said ANYTHING as to why she's been avoiding me for the last three months.


So here's what I sent back.

"My mom said she was going to send a note saying how helpful you were. That whole wedding experience was a blur of activity to me, and I don't even remember what I said but I'm sorry. Clearly it affected you enough to stop talking to me. Thanks for letting me know."

I don't think I'll hear from her again.

I mean, Good God, we've been friends a LONG time. And if you recall, the week before and week after my sister's wedding (see my Blog entry for January 3rd) was PURE HELL for me. I'm sure I must have talked to her, but I honestly don't remember what I said. I can't imagine saying something that made her stop talking to me for 3 months, but I must have.

The kicker, to me, is that I HAVE tried to reach out and be pleasant since then, obviously not knowing anything was wrong. Now I'm just pissed. She never said a word. How was I supposed to know I did anything?? Thanks for the benefit of the doubt, under the circumstances. She was perfectly willing to trash our friendship and never talk to me again. And yet, I kept on trying. She never told me to stop calling her. So again, how would I know it was something I did?

I don't know if she reads this or not, but here's what I'd like to say to her right now -

For the last 3 months, I've been giving you the benefit of the doubt. It was actually hurting my feelings that you weren't talking to me. I didn't know why you weren't talking to me, but I assumed it wasn't intentional, and I made the conscious effort to not take it personally because I just figured that something was going on and that you probably weren't even aware that you were hurting my feelings. You're a busy person, I'm a busy person, I really didn't think anything of it, because in my mind, you had no reason to be angry with me. I had no idea I'd done anything to deserve the cold shoulder, so I never interpreted your not talking to me as being a result of something I did. I just figured you had school and work and your boyfriend and everything. Yeah, I was sad and I missed you, but I couldn't imagine that you'd be trying to hurt me on purpose. I had already forgiven you.

This is why I can't understand why you wouldn't have extended me the same courtesy during an extremely stressful time in my life, and think "oh, I know Sarah wouldn't hurt my feelings on purpose, she's just stressed..." and either let it go, or SAY something. I have tried to contact you several times in the last three months. You could have confronted me any of these times. It had to be obvious to you that I didn't know I did something to upset you. I would have at least appreciated the opportunity to apologize to you before now. In my own defense, I did apologize THE SECOND I knew I'd pissed you off. It's NOT my fault that it was three months afterwards. The silent treatment is just not the way to let me know something's bothering you. Especially if you want me to know that I did something that upset you, and I obviously am unaware of it.

If you're mad now because it took me so long to catch onto the fact that something actually WAS bothering you, and that you WEREN'T just really busy, or in a horrible situation you couldn't tell me about, or somehow isolating yourself intentionally, that's because I was alternating between thinking "oh, I'm sure she doesn't mean anything by not talking to me" and "God, I hope she's not in an abusive situation or something". I'm sorry if you thought I was just playing it off and minimizing your feelings by pretending like nothing was wrong.

But I WASN'T pretending. I didn't know anything WAS wrong. Until I asked. And at this point even my sincerest apology is a formality since I still don't know exactly what was said, and I doubt I ever will know since you're not really talking to me at all. And that's your choice, and that's fine. And now that I know that it's your choice to cut off all contact, I can at least go on with the knowledge that I've done all I can to make amends to someone who won't talk to me.


Bezzie said...

Yeah, I agree that sucks. I swear that's one of my hang ups with being a girl--we hold catty little weird grudges like that.
I think you did your best to rectify the situation considering you were in the dark on what was bugging her. The ball's in her court. If she drops it or hits you in the head with it, you can at least say you tried.

Elspeth said...

I have a similar situation, and I haven't spoken to my friend for years. She used to call me the second I came home from work. I was tired. So she would talk and talk and quite frankly I would read the paper. Apparently during that time she told me she was buying a friend of ours a a gift from Bath and Body Works. I didn't realize, and bought the exact gift for our friend, since it was perfect for her and I *worked* at Bath and Body Works!

So I just didn't realize she was pissed at me and kept calling and leaving joking messages saying was she blowing me off? I found out later from said friend what I had done, but never from her.

I did randomly hear from her about 6 years ago where she emailed me "Happy Birthday" but I was still hurt that she would blow me off for an innocent mistake so I didn't respond. Quite frankly I don't know how to get in touch with her anymore, and it makes me sad. Although I often think you feel the most upset about not being able to talk to people that blew you off, since you weren't the one to break contact.

I really hope you get this resolved! Maybe you could try the plain "Happy Birthday" card and see how it goes? It does really suck to be a girl sometimes.